UM a great place to go

By JIM FUHRMEISTER / Guest Columnist

Many families have just gone through the annual ritual of sending kids off to college. For the kids, it’s an exciting time — spreading wings, living independently, experiencing life mixed with some apprehension.

For their parents, it is a time of mixed emotions — excitement, hope and some fear. I have gone through this ritual several times both as a child and as a parent and let me just say that it is a lot more fun as a child!

As a parent, it does get easier but the worry never completely goes away; I guess that is just part of being a parent.

The college years are wonderful for a young person. I would not trade anything for mine. I made lifelong friends and learned a lot inside and outside of the classroom.

I periodically find myself on a college campus for business or other reasons now and I always enjoy watching and listening to the students. They are excited about life and about learning.

I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. John Stewart, president of the University of Montevallo, at the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce meeting recently.

I have heard Dr. Stewart speak on a few occasions since he joined Montevallo and I will say that he always makes me a little jealous. Even with all the challenges, and I know there are many serious ones, I think working on a university campus surrounded by all that youthful energy would be very exciting.

Dr. Stewart has a vision for the University of Montevallo and surrounding community and he has spent a considerable amount of time sharing his vision with all who are interested. Because of his enthusiasm, others have bought in to the vision and great partnerships have been forged that will benefit everyone at the university, in the city of Montevallo and in Shelby County.

Times are tough, the economy is bad and many people are struggling, so it’s especially refreshing to see the exciting progress being made at Montevallo.

I know what it is like to be a high school student looking forward to picking out a college. I also know what it’s like to be a parent contemplating the best fit for my child for a college education. If you’re in that situation, either as a teenager or as a parent, consider the University of Montevallo — it’s a great place to go to school.

Jim Fuhrmeister is the Shelby County probate judge.